SACRAMENTO – The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) reported today that new light vehicle registrations exceeded 400,000 units during the first quarter 2013, the highest first quarter total since 2008. State registration also exceeded the improvement realized by the entire U.S. market.

“The recession that hit California’s new-vehicle market so drastically is finally disappearing from our rear-view mirror,” said Brian Maas, president of the CNCDA. “The comeback by California’s franchised new-car dealers is well underway, and is being led by consumers choosing from among the wide variety of fuel efficient vehicles available.”

The Japanese brands still account for nearly 50 percent of California’s new-vehicle market, but the domestic brands did see a nearly 18 percent increase in registrations. Electric vehicle registrations are also climbing steadily, but still only account for about 1 percent of the market. The demand for all electric vehicles combined is similar to that of the Ford Explorer.

The California new-vehicle market has also been growing at a faster pace than the used market for the past several years. New-vehicle registrations increased 25 percent in 2012, while used registrations were up just 1.9 percent. This trend continued in the first quarter of this year.

The California Auto Outlook First Quarter 2013 Market Report provides comprehensive information on the state’s new- and used-vehicle market. To view the complete report, visit